Incidences of tuberculosis may come down by 10 percent every year after the introduction of a digital programme in Nairobi, Kenya, to monitor the treatment of patients.
The unique programme that has been nicknamed TIBU will help in controlling and managing data of TB patients thereby ensuring zero TB tolerance by the year 2015.
The Director of Public Health and Sanitation, Dr Shahnaz Sharif said that TIBU is a special model that specifically meets the challenges of data management and ensures tracking and monitoring the data of all TB patients throughout the country. The programme would keep a track of the progress on the treatment of all the patients. The programme which also ensures that all the patients have completed their treatment has brought to light several cases of patients defaulting on treatment.
Reduction in cases
Dr Sharif mentioned that in the last three years the number of TB cases had reduced to about 113 cases per year, but hoped that the new technology would help eradicate the disease completely. He was speaking in Mombasa at the launch of the E-reporting of TB cases through “TIBU” – an innovative system that electronically provides solutions for the treatment and management of the disease.
The programme which is a partnership between the Government, Safaricom Limited and USAid has already completed the first phase that has been estimated at about Sh. 43 million. The second phase that involves rolling out the programme throughout the country will cost about Sh130 million.
Dr. Sharif warned defaulters that legal action would be taken against patients as they would be notified of their progress through mobile phone. He said that all defaulters would be warned and those who do not heed the call would be taken to court and be confined to a room until they get well.
Patients who have not missed out on their daily injections would be compensated through MPesa money transfer services.